“There was a slight seasonal cooling off in demand in March,” Alrosa Deputy CEO Yury Okoemov said in a company statement.
“However, good results of special size diamond auctions [over 10.8 carats] ensured higher sales this month compared with February 2018,” he added.
In February, the company sold US$541.9 million worth of rough and polished diamonds on the back of good jewelry sales in China.
During the first quarter, Alrosa’s total diamond sales reached US$1.606 billion. Rough diamond sales climbed to a total of US$1.582 billion, while polished sales reached US$23.7 million.
Okoemov noted that at the end of the first three months of the year, rough diamond stock had approached the technological minimum level.
In March, Alrosa reported that its revenue and profit for 2017 had declined due to a shift to lower-value rough diamond sales and a weaker US dollar. The company’s revenue for the year fell 14 percent to US$4.68 billion, while profit slipped 41 percent to US$1.36 billion.
“Although production and sales volumes increased, Alrosa’s 2017 financial results were affected by a number of macroeconomic and market factors, especially the stronger ruble and the product mix changes,” said CEO Sergey Ivanov.
Alrosa, which is partially state controlled, has assets across seven countries and 10 regions of Russia. It operates the Jubilee mine, the world’s second-largest diamond mine, which is forecast to produce a total of 8.2 million carats this year.
On Tuesday, shares of Alrosa closed up 0.17 percent in Moscow at RUB 82.15. The company’s share price has increased 8.36 percent year-to-date.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.